Cameron Carenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – Who Can It Be Now?


Fall means many things. Thanksgiving is behind us, Halloween is around the corner, it’s almost time to turn the clocks back and it’s time to begin the annual debate as to who should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which shouldn’t be called The Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, but that is the least of things that is wrong with the hall and many of its members). Last year I scored a pretty miserable 62.5% with my predictions but I fared much better the year before with a solid 80%. Time to roll the bones again (as Hall members Rush would say).

Here is the official long list.

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

They are on the long list for the third consecutive year, and for the fourth time overall. Apparently someone is lobbying pretty hard to get the Chicago artists into the Hall but, as I have said for the last two years, I can’t really see it happening. Not a household name, no mainstream hits and, although it played a huge part in the development of rock’n’roll, the harmonica is not a sexy instrument. Not in.


This one is starting to reek of desperation as Chic hits the long list for the 9th time. Of course they have absolutely nothing to do with my definition of rock’n’roll (about 60% of the hall would be immediately vacated if they played by my rules) but, once again, someone is pushing to get them in. Although there are over 50 past and present members of the band the two names most recognized by the public are Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. As respected as both of them are I really can’t see the group getting in. Not in.

Green Day

Really? Here come the bubblegum punk bands even though those who paved the road for them (Black Flag, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, D.O.A., Dead Kennedys) will never even be considered. As much as it pains me I will go on record and say they are one of the sure three bets for induction come December. This bodes well for Blink-182 in five years while The Replacements will still be outside looking in. In.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Of course Joan should be in for The Runaways, but, for the third time she is nominated with The Blackhearts. They did have many more hits than The Runaways but their overall influence is not nearly as great. Looking at the other nominees, and noticing a severe lack of female performers, I think Joan may sneak in. Playing the Hall last year as part of the tribute to Nirvana certainly have improved her chances. In.


If it wasn`t for Kraftwerk there would be no Nine Inch Nails (more on them later). For my money this is the type of ground breaking act that should be in the hall, and because of the success of Daft Punk in the last couple of years, this may be the time they finally get their due. I say third time lucky for the Germans. In.

The Marvelettes

This is the second time The Marvelettes have been nominated but there is not enough meat in their repertoire to get them into the hall. The Supremes had hit after hit and spawned the solo career of Diana Ross, but outside of “Please Mr. Postman” and “Beechwood 4-5789” these Detroit ladies did not dominate the charts or launch any substantial solo careers. Not in.


Love them or hate them N.W.A. did change the sound of hip-hop and influenced a whole generation of artists. This is the third year in a row they have made the short list and now that Public Enemy is in N.W.A. should be next. They are the only hip-hop band on the ballot this year so everything is leaning in their favour. In.

Nine Inch Nails

This one makes me feel old as it doesn`t seem like it’s been 25 years since the first time I listened to “Pretty Hate Machine” in my office at MCA Records. It came in a package from TVT Records as they were looking to change distributors in Canada. The record had an immediate effect on me and we fought, and won, the distribution rights based primarily on that record. Trent has proven himself over the course of the last 25 years with both Oscars and Grammies but I don`t think the band will get in with their first shot. My nod is for Kraftwerk this year and N.I.N. next year. Not in.

Lou Reed

This is another lock. Lou is in the hall as part of The Velvet Underground (1996) and will now be honoured for his solo work. Even without his recent passing I think his catalog of solo material is more than strong enough to warrant inclusion. “Rock’n’Roll Animal” is one of the greatest live records ever recorded and I think Lou would see the humour in the writer of “Metal Machine Music” being in the hall. In.

The Smiths

This one caught me a bit off guard as the Hall seems to shun influential British bands. Deep Purple, Yes, The Zombies, Roxy Music, Kate Bush, XTC, Status Quo, Slade and scores of theirs are still waiting to dance at the party. For all of their press The Smiths were not around that long and I don’t think they will be recognized for many a year to come. I wouldn’t be surprised if Morissey gets in before the band. Not in.

The Spinners

Same story as The Marvelettes, couple of good songs but not Hall worthy at this point. “I’ll Be Around”, “Rubberband Man” and “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” were all decent charting singles but ask anyone on the streets to name a Spinner’s song, or a Spinner’s album, and you would be facing a lot of blank stares. Full marks for their sound, and longevity (they are currently celebrating their 50th year) but it just ain’t going to happen anytime soon. Not in.


Gordon was inducted in 2003 with his band The Police but, once again, there is not enough great solo music to deem him worthy. With all his talk of Tantric sex he seems to rub people the wrong way. Not in.

Stevie Ray Vaughan

I can’t say I have ever been a fan but the Hall loves guitar players and he is the only one nominated this year. Those who love him are pretty passionate about his work and as a solo and session player he earned a lot of respect. In.


This one is a tough call. The band racked up the hits in the late sixties and seventies with “Low Rider”, “Spill The Wine”, “Why Can’t We Be Friends” and “The Cisco Kid” and successfully merged funk, soul, R&B, jazz and even reggae into their sound. Because of that fusion and the volume of work they produced I think they may be the  dark horse this year. In.

Bill Withers

The song “Lean On Me” is already in the Hall and I wouldn’t be surprised if Wither’s other big hit “Ain’t No Sunshine” makes it in one day as well. Wither’s had a great voice but I don’t think there is enough other great material to merit his place in the Hall. Not in.

Indie Week appearance….

Indie Week 2014

I will be moderating the Film panel tomorrow at The Bond Place Hotel for IndieWeek at 1:00 and then my old friend Nigel Grainge will be speaking about the U.K. record biz at 4 PM. To hear Nigel speak is worth the price of admission. Buy a wristband and check out some great Indie music from around the world this weekend.


Cam’s column appears every Thursday.

Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59.

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Cam likes to plant his butt on the roof of the Bovine and soak up a few rays.

The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll are proud to be presented by The Bovine Tiki Bar and The Bovine. The Tiki Bar welcomes the mild to hot weather and The Bovine presents great bands downstairs at the legendary rock bar. Fill up next store at The Rock Lobster and then get your rocks off at The Bovine. 

DBAWIS ButtonCameron Carpenter has written for The New Music Magazine, Music Express, The Asylum, The Varsity, The Eye Opener, The New Edition, Shades, Bomp!, Driven Magazine, FYI Music News, The Daily XY, New Canadian


One Response to “Cameron Carenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – Who Can It Be Now?”

  1. […] class of 2015 was announced earlier this week (you can read my nomination predictions here:…). I scored 66.6%, which I find ironic as the H of F usually dismisses metal as a worthy inductee […]

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